« PoprzedniaDalej »
CH A P. II.
Of the Paternity of God.
THAT there is one felfexistent, infinitly per
fect and glorious Being, the Author and Preserver, not only of Man, but also of all other Beings whatsoever, which Being we call GOD; I shall not prove. This Task your excellent Demonstration, for which the Christian World will ever be your Debtor, has rendred perfe&ly needless.
But then, the Word God has also been usid in other Senses. Such Beings as deriv'd their very Existence from the One felfexistent Being; nay, the mere Creatures of human Invention, which never did exist at all, have been dignify'd with that Appellation. And accordingly the Apostle says, there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be Gods many and Lords many, 1 Cor. 8. 5. Wherefore, that the One felfexistent Being may effe&tually be distinguish'd from all those other Beings, which are Gods in Name only,and not really such ; I shall frequently call him the very or true God.
Now this very God is, in the holy Scriptures, frequently calls the Father ; and that upon different Accounts. I shall not be curious in the Specification of them. 'Tis fufficient to observe, 1. That he is confessedly the Father, not only of all Mankind, but even of the Universe; because he crea. ted all Things, and they owe their Existence to him. So that whatsoever is, besides himself, proceeds from him, and he is therefore the Father of it. 2. That he is also confessedly the Father of
Christians, by reason of that Covenant which he makes with them in and thro' our Savior Jesus Chrift, whereby we become his Children, not by Creation (for such are all Mankind) but by Adoption ; that is, he receives us into his particular Grace and Favor, by which we are entitled to such inestimable Benefits, as we could not claim by that Relation to him which his bare Creation gives us. Thus the Apostle says, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ þesus, Gal. 3. 26.
But then, as the very God is the Father of all Mankind in general, and of Christians in particular; so is he, in an especial Manner, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom the holy Scriptures do commonly stile the Son of God in an emphatical Manner, and the Only Begotten of the Father ; which Phrafes do necessarily imply, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the very God, and consequently the very God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in some peculiar and extraordinary Sense.
Briefly therefore, The very God is the Father of all Mankind by a general Paternity, of all Chriftians by a particular or federal Paternity, and of our Lord Jesus Christ by a Special Paternity,
CHAP. III. Of the Union of the Divine and Human Natures
in our Lord Jesus Christ.
OWi for the better understanding of this
wonderful Relation between the very God and our Lord Jesus Christ, which arises from the special Paternity of the very God, and consequently the special Filiation of Jesus Christ our Lord, it must be remembred, that our Lord Jesus Christ has a twofold Nature united in him.
First, the aby G, or WORD of God, which was with God, and is God, was made Flesh, or was incarnat, and dwelt among us, in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is not only taught by your self, but expresly afferted by St. John, Ch. i. V. 1, 14, 15. That this WORD is abundantly superior to, and consequently quite different from, an human Soul, you constantly suppose, and therefore you will not defire me to prove. Whether this WORD is the very God, or a Secondary Being, that derives his Exiftence from the One felfexiftent Being or very God, I do not at present inquire. This is certain, and allow'd by your self, that the WORD is superior to all created Beings whatsoever. For all ihings were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, John 1. 3. And since you know and maintain, that the WORD is exprefly call'd God, therefore I join with you in calling the WORD the Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Chrift.
Secondly, Our Lord Jesus Christ is very Man, consisting of an human Body and an human Soul.
That our Lord Jesus Christ has an human Body, is agreed between us. And indeed, 'tis as certain, as that Julius Cæfar had one. For we have the fame Evidence of both. But perhaps we are not agreed that
he has an human Soul: at least you do not once affirm it. You (a) say, On which fide foever that Question (viz. whether the Divine Nature supply'd the Place of the Human Soul in Christ) be determined, it makes no Alteration at all in my Scheme. And therefore, to avoid all needless Difficulties, I neither affirmed nor supposed any thing, which will not bold equally true upon either Hypothefis. Whether your Do&rin may be maintain' with equal Advantage upon, either Hypothesis, I do not at present dispate. But 'tis plain, you have not appear'd willing to speak Tour Thoughts freely about this Matter ; and therefore, fince I think it of Importance with respect to the Controversy, you will give me leave briefly to offer fome of my Thoughts.
I observe therefore, 1. That no Argument can be drawn from Reason against our Savior's having an human Soul. His Actions never discover'd the Want of it. And therefore we must intirely depend upon the Holy Scriptures for the Determination of this Point. 2. That the Holy Scriptures do not so much as once exprefly say, that our Savior had not an human Soul. There is not one Text alleg’d for that Purpose, that I know of. 3. That thotbe word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and consequently was united to an human Body ; yet this does not prove, that our Lord had not an hu. man Soul. For the WORD might as well be united both to an human Body and to an human Soul, as to an human Body without an human Soul. (a) Answer to the Bishop of Chefer, p. 219,
Wherefore we have no reason to deny our Savior an human Soul, altho'the WORD was incarnat.
But the Holy Scriptures, not only do not deliver, but manifeftly oppose, and overthrow this Conceit. For as 'twas ever believ'd, that a Man consists of an human Soul and an human Body united (fo that if either of these integral Parts be wanting, the Man, that is, a true, perfect, and proper Man, is not) so the Holy Scriptures, which by a Man do understand such a compounded Nature, do represent our Savior as a Man, as fully, plainly, and clearly,as any one other Man in the World. He is without a Figure,and not in any borrow'd Sense,exprefly stiled dugar and are, that is, a Man,both by himself and the Sacred Writers. He himself saies, But now ye seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God, John 8. 40. And elsewhere he makes him as much a Man, and a Man in the same Sense, as was Adam himself, saying, for since by man came deatb, by man came also the resurrection of the dead; for as in Adam all die, even so in Cbrift shall all be made alive, 1 Cor. 15.21, 22. And again, the first man is of the eartb, eartby : the second man
is the Lord from heaven, v. 47. Nay, he gives him the very Name of Adam, saying, the first man Adam was made a living Soul, the last Adam was made a quickning Spirit, v.45. Nay, 'tis very observable, that the Apostle declares him to be as much a Man, and a Man of the very fame Kind, as we our selves in general are. For says he, But not as the offence, so also is the free gift : for if through the offence of one, many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Fesus Christ, hath abounded (ris zames) unto many, that is, unto many Men, Rom. 5. 15. So that our Lord Jesus Christ is as truly a Man as any of our selves;